Saturday, October 6, 2012

Sausage,Cabbage, Leeks and Potato Soup

    I love Fall - warm during the day, cool at night. I find that it's easier to dress in the Fall.  Of course, living in the Northeast, we look forward to the changing foliage, especially the beautiful maples.  This is also a great time for cooking and baking. When the air starts getting chilly, a bowl of soup is truly a bowl of comfort.  

     I love soup so I'll have it any time of year but I know a lot of people think soup is for cold weather.  Well, it's certainly that time of year. Soup comes in many forms but the one I recently made was inspired by the beautiful purple potatoes I saw at the farmer's market and the sausage I had in my refrigerator.  I remember that I loved the recipe I found in Jacques Pepin's "Essential Pepin" for a comforting cabbage, potato and sausage soup.  This book is an encyclopedia of French and American recipes by Pepin.  What I found most useful were his discussions of techniques.
  I had leek so I added them for more flavor. I added crimini mushrooms. I wanted my soup to be a little bit more spiced this time so I added a small amount of chopped dried red chile.  The last time I made this soup, I did not add chile but added thyme and a little rosemary.  That was delicious too.  

Almost forgot to mention the kind of sausage I used this time - Griggstown Chicken Sausage with White Wine, Parsley, Lemon and Garlic.  These are moist, a little spicy, and just well worth the money. 

As you can tell this is a versatile soup - leave out mushrooms if you don't like them. Here, the mushrooms were just added flavor.  This soup is filling and warming.  It was great for dinner and lunch.  Hope you like it too.

My Sausage, Cabbage, Leek and Potato Soup

8 oz sausage meat (use either mild Italian or chicken sausage)
1 tbs olive oil
1 or 2 garlic clove(s)
1 small onion, cut into 1” thick slices 
2 medium sized leeks (see note below for cleaning)
6 cups water
10 cremini or baby bella mushrooms 
1 lb potatoes, peeled and cut into ½-inch thick slices or use small potatoes cut in half
8 oz cabbage, cut into 1 ½ inch pieces (4 cups)
1/2 teaspoon chile flakes or chopped dried chile
1 ¼ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons of white wine
Pepper to taste

Put oil in pot.  Break the sausage into 1-inch pieces and place it into soup pot over high heat.  Saute, stirring and scraping the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon to keep the meat from sticking, for 10 minutes, or until the sausage is well browned. Put sausage into plate for later.
Add the garlic, sliced onion and leeks to pot, and cook for 1 minute. Add white wine and deglaze by scraping about bottom with wooden spoon. Stir in the water, potatoes, mushrooms, cabbage and bring to a boil.   
Add salt and pepper. Add sausage back to pot.  Cover, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 45 minutes.
Serve the soup in bowls.
Note  If you haven't worked with leeks, it can be intimidating.  What do you do with the stalk? I like to cut out the white part (cut off the green tough leaves), then sliced the white part into rings.   Loosen each ring and put all of it in a bowl with water.  Let it loosen the dirt then carefully scoop up the leek rings. I use a colander into a bowl of water to make it easier to pick up the leeks. 

Edit I forgot in the original post to put in oil.  I needed oil since I used chicken sausage, which does not give off oil the way pork sausage does.  If you use pork sausage, you don't need to add oil.


  1. wow, this sounds absolutely amazing. we're having soup for dinner tonight too -- will have to try yours soon.

    1. thanks, Hima. I can't wait to find out what kind of soup you made too.

  2. This was great, I used cajun sausage, purple cabbage as it was on hand, and turnips subbed for the potatos, was delicious.

  3. Made this tonight and both my husband and myself thought it was delicious!!!